My funeral record!


When the inevitable announcement of my death is posted out on a late-night tweet from my personal account by whoever can work out the pin number to my phone (CLUE: it’s Boris Johnson’s date of birth followed by a 7th digit of how many children he has brought into the world), I want it out there in the public domain what my funeral record actually is so that nobody messes up my final encore and that I shuffle off this mortal coil with a little bit of dignity. It’s not ‘Fire’ by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and it’s definitely not ‘Light My Fire’ by The (overrated) Doors. It is actually ‘Kolly Kibber’s Birthday’ by the godlike genius that is Julian Cope.

My obsession (yes that word again) with Julian Cope coincided with the release of his debut single ‘Sunshine Playroom’ in 1983. I went to Guildford Civic Hall in 1984 to see the woefully attended first solo tour and have been a huge fan of his since. I saw him at SUB89 in Reading earlier this year before the lockdown and he was just as good and charismatic as he was in 1984. ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ and ‘Fried’, both released in 1984, are in my Top 5 albums of all time and are still played on a regular basis. I am playing ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ as I write this for inspiration. My obsession peaked at Portsmouth Guildhall in 1987 when I climbed on stage during the encore and asked Julian to marry me in front of my then-fiancée. The show was stopped after this incident which I still get blamed for but anyone in the know KNEW that ‘Reynard The Fox’ was ALWAYS the last song of the set at that time (right?).

1984 Tour Programme
1984 Tour Programme

So there you have it, during the official two days of mourning and before the state funeral could somebody please contact any person with authority (Barney, Ivy or Jane) and insist on ‘Kolly Bibber’s Birthday’. It’s not on Spotify but I have both the vinyl and CD in my collection filed under ‘C’.

The lyrics for the funeral service programme

***Disclaimer*** it is not my intention to die soon so this is not a plea for help!


  • My fiancée still married me even after this debacle and became the first Mrs Cronen (I took her surname – long story)
  • Kolly Kibber is a character in the wonderful Graeme Greene novel and film ‘Brighton Rock’ if you weren’t aware. It’s one of my favourite books.

Thanks to: Roy Sharples for continued inspiration & Nikki ‘Nin’ Cronen for tolerance!

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